My young husband was ramping up for a full-blown manic crisis when our 1st baby was born – and neither of us recognized the warning signs. By the time I came home from the hospital, he needed to go into a hospital.
It felt like a Category 5 hurricane, with a leaky dingy and no paddle. And a baby in the boat. I had never been a mama before, so I was sleep deprived, and let me tell you – they did NOT include instructions for admitting the daddy to the psychiatric hospital with my new mother’s guide.
I naively assumed if things had gotten SO bad you are looking up psych hospitals in the yellow pages (a first for me), all you had to do was get your loved one to the hospital (like the ER). Not so. If your loved one is not an obvious danger to others, or themselves, it doesn’t matter how “in need” they are, you can’t “help them” by admitting them. They have to AGREE they need “help”, and if they AGREED with you in the first place, they wouldn’t be manic!
One weary morning I read, “… like a shepherd He will tend His flock … He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” (Isaiah 40:11) Those words pierced the storm, like a loving ray of light, onto me nursing my baby in that tiny duplex.
My situation was harsh. God was not.
Eventually the police department sent a mental health officer to help me walk through the steps legally. (I will not be surprised if I get to heaven and find out he was an angel.)
BUT, (remember, things can always get worse) we had no insurance. At the time, we only had my husband’s income, as a contract worker. No benefits, no sick leave. His company had been under a hiring freeze with maximum contract offers for 9 month/year only. God had already allowed him to work 20 months straight. Just the month before our baby came, the hiring freeze had lifted. Perfect timing! His boss said, “All you have to do is come in and sign some papers…” BUT
By the time he came home from the hospital everyone knew he was bipolar, work included. He came home to a colicky baby, no job offer, and big bills. Weeks went by and no word from his company. Had they decided not to hire him because he was bipolar? Had God turned His face against us?
My dad was reading in Ezra 8 at the time, which repeats the phrase “the hand of the Lord was on us for GOOD” … so he encouraged us, “God’s hand is on you for GOOD.” Not to be disrespectful or anything, but we weren’t seeing any good. We clung to his faith though, in God’s goodness towards us, like the desperate, traumatized, young married, new parents we were.
Someone has said, “God has a flair for the dramatic.” I’m a witness. Seven LONG weeks passed,
Then one morning the boss called, commanding, “Stay by the phone today.” Yes, sir. We huddled by the phone, waiting in suspense to see if the personnel department would call with a job offer. We were nervous. Praying. So many things had gone so wrong….
I will never forget the phone ringing! With His exciting and loving Hand, God ended that testing period by giving my husband the permanent job, WITH benefits, WITH a salary exceeding our expectations – the WEEKEND before they reinstated a nationwide hiring freeze. My dad had been praying they would offer MORE than expected, so my husband would know he was valuable, even with his diagnosis. It was a healing, powerful affirmation after devastating humiliation. He was hired not because he could keep his diagnosis secret enough, but because God had intervened enough.
Remember? God is always up to something GOOD.
The NEXT day someone gave us funds to spend the following week on vacation (before work began) … on a lake … skiing … sunrises … moonlit boat rides … sleep! “He restoreth my soul….” Ps 23
Yes, the hand of our God is on us for GOOD.
A friend says we can now put “T and P” beside those verses – “tested and proven”- !